British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765

By George Louis Beer | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE matter contained in this essay was collected in the course of an extensive study of the old British colonial system. At the outset of the investigation, more attention was paid to the development of the eighteenth, than to that of the preceding century; but as the work progressed, the necessity of treating the origins and establishment of the system on a larger scale became patent. Consequently, although the material for the eighteenth century was to a great extent elaborated, it appeared advisable to defer its publication until the preceding age could be more carefully investigated. As, however, it was decided at the same time to treat the entire subject apart from the controversies of the American Revolution, there exists no valid reason to refrain from publishing the results of the study of the transitional years from 1754 to 1765.

The subject of the work, its exact scope and limits, are clearly indicated by the title. It is a study of British policy during the critical period of the old Empire. Thus the essay belongs distinctly to the domain of British history; but to the extent that English and American development were then inseparable, it also, but more indirectly, falls within the field occupied by American history. The focus of interest is, however, the British Empire, and not the rise of the American Nation. On its positive side the book is a portrayal of British policy, a study in imperial history; on its negative side it is an

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